Myth of the creator

Vilen Künnapu has perpetuated himself in Estonian art history as a neo-functionalist architect in the 1970s, a post-modernist architect in the 1980s, the most successful architect of the 1990s and the most eccentric today. Looking for a factor that connects his entire creative practice – which includes writing fiction, assemblage, drawing, and in recent years, also painting as well as architecture, it seems appropriate to say that the common denominator is his faith in the myth of the creator as an artist-genius. This emerges with particular clarity from Künnapu’s essays, where he seems to be seeking a justification for his activity by writing about architecture, projecting himself not so much on history as on historical figures. This projection gives rise to a stylistic technique characteristic of Künnapu, one where argumentation is intertwined with the biographical, often quasi-mythical or outright anecdotal, details of notable individuals from cultural history.